Yesterday the big news was the Consumer Reports’ 2009 Annual Car Reliability Survey and Ford’s surpassing of some Toyota and Honda models. However, the 2010 Toyota Prius still held its own against the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and is ranked as the most reliable hybrid on the market. Today, we are reporting on the 2009 Japanese Car of the Year.

Third-gen Toyota Prius test drive

Third-gen Toyota Prius test drive

During the 41st Annual Tokyo Motor Show a panel of Japanese motoring journalists voted and selected the 2010 Toyota Prius as Japan’s Car of the Year. This award marks the first actual award for the 2010 Prius, but given the quality news from yesterday it is certainly not the last. The Prius has been a strong seller in Japan accounting for 11 percent of all new car sales in the country since its introduction. Likewise, the U.S. has seen strong sales trends as well and it was recently announced in the latest EPA Fuel Economy Guide (more here) as the most fuel-efficient vehicle for 2010.

Bottom line—Toyota is definitely at top of the hybrid food chain, but American car manufacturers like Ford are starting to nip at their heels. So the next couple years of innovation will be interesting, especially with cars like the GM Volt, Ford TransitConnect EV and Ford Focus EV coming to market.